Archive for June, 2007

Dusting off DriveyC++

It’s always interesting coming back to a project that hasn’t been touched in a long time. Often I find it to be much more functional than I remember (in this case the track description language is more sophisticated than I recall) and surprisingly easy to pick up where I left off. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll be releasing any DriveyC++ demos in the immediate future, but if I can just keep a little time aside for this I should be able to make some real progress.


A rough port of the "industrial" landscape to DriveyC++

Still rather conspicuously missing is the ability to create hills. I really should attack that problem soon, since it would open up a whole lot of potential for landscaping– I’m thinking a twilight drive over a quiet mountain pass.


The most countrified landscape I have right now


I think shadows will probably define the daytime look

Now this is more like it

Better than a gastrointestinal lavage preparation, I received another birthday package today…

The Thing (maquette) by Coco Miles.

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It’s hard to believe I’m 35 already– Seems like only a short time ago I was just 32, so young and full of life, with so much potential.

When I arrived home yesterday evening I was delighted to find a package waiting for me on my doorstep. Imagine my further delight when I discovered what it contained: A colonoscopy preparation kit! Could this be the best birthday present ever…? How nice of the Gastro clinic to remember.

Shaking things up a bit

It’s been so long since I’ve done any substantial work on Drivey that I think many people who were very interested may have forgotten all about it by now. And I wonder how many people reading this would have any idea what Jujuscript is…?

One very good reason to procrastinate is that it’s often the safest option; rather than going on and finishing a job only to realize the product is less than was hoped for, it’s so much easier to just think about what might have been. After a great initial reaction to my first posted demo of Drivey almost two years ago, I’ve added almost nothing to it, so now I think it’s about time I did something to get the ball rolling again.

Specifically, it’s time I quit poking at the Jujuscript version and devoted some time to the more advanced C++ version, and I’ve decided that the best way to make myself do that is to give away the Jujuscript version so others can poke at it instead!

So hurry and download the drivey source code + undocumented Jujuscript interpreter now, before I change my fickle mind.

http://www.jujusoft.com/download/jujuscript-1.0.zip

Don’t ask me how it works, I haven’t the time to provide support– just try the sample scripts and go from there. I created Jujuscript more than five years ago, and have done sod all with it since besides Drivey and a few little test apps. The language is like a cross between C++ and Javascript, and maybe someone will get a kick out of it. If there is enough interest, I may be persuaded to document the thing and provide a better IDE/debugger/optimizer for it.

Sequels

Spiderman 3 – sucks arse! What are the odds of a meteorite carrying some sort of sticky black xenomorph crashing right next to Toby MacGuire in the same week a surprisingly buff Thomas Haden Church stumbles into an open air particle experiment?

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – also sucks arse! But visually splendid so I would at least deem it watchable. Seeing Keith Richards as Johnny Depp’s dad is almost worth the price of admission (ok no it’s not, but they do look good together).

28 Weeks Later – This was surprisingly good and largely in keeping with the style of the original, even though it’s from a very different perspective (the US military forces and even to a degree that of the "infected"). What was disappointing was that there is no middle act; it just kind of begins and then ends… They go from "everything’s fine" to "code red" in just one scene, where instead we could have had a gradual (excruciating) breakdown of containment.

Doing the right thing

Ira Glass Although I will happily enjoy downloaded TV shows without paying (in part because of the way the MPAA, MIPI et al keep trying to equate copyright violation with burglary), I have to say I feel like I owe something to Ira Glass and the excellent radio show This American Life (now available as a podcast).

And so I have responded to their current pledge drive with a donation of $50, and I hope that other fans might do the same. It really is a great show; the only podcast to which I will consistently listen to every episode in full.

A thing I hardly need

Ixus 70Meet my new camera, Mr Canon Digital IXUS 70.

Kind of a silly purchase really since I already have an IXUS 50, but this one has a few extras I’ve been wanting, like high capacity SD card support (2GB+), zoom enabled during video, time lapse video, and audio recording. Of course it still has the typical dumb limitations of compact cameras, eg maximum 10 shots on timer (even though can take unlimited shots in burst mode) and maximum 2 hour period for audio and video recording.

A nice touch is that the tilt sensor is now active in both camera and playback mode (IXUS50 ignores it in the latter), so photos will always stay upright regardless of which orientation they are taken or played back in.

My favorite new feature is its nifty ability to track faces within the frame, which it does in order to control both exposure and focus. This is indicated in the viewscreen by a white frame which appears around people’s faces when you point the camera at them. So far it seems very clever at spotting faces (up to three at a time seems to work ok too).